Long-term periodicity of sedimentary basins in response to astronomical forcing: Review and perspective

Zhang, Rui; Jin, Zhijun; Li, Mingsong; Gillman, Michael; Chen, Shuping; Liu, Quanyou; Wei, Ren and Shi, Juye (2023). Long-term periodicity of sedimentary basins in response to astronomical forcing: Review and perspective. Earth-Science Reviews, article no. 104533.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2023.104533


Periodicity is a fundamental phenomenon occurring throughout the history of our planet Earth. Investigations into the mechanics of terrestrial cyclicity should consider short-term variations commonly linked to Milankovitch cycles and long-term variations sometimes hypothesized to have a galactic origin. Stratigraphic sequences in sedimentary basins record Earth's long-term periodicities and potential astronomical forces. This paper reviews multiscale harmonic periodicities (e.g., ~740, ~220, ~90, and ~ 30 Myr cycles) in the sedimentary basin archive records. These periodicities exhibit similarities to estimates of galactic cyclicities, which suggests the possibility of a causal relation. Here, we consider the possibility that galactic dynamics control some periodic components on Earth. The gravitational potential model of the Galaxy provides a plausible explanation of the periodic processes superimposed onto geospheres. The passage of the Solar System through the spiral arms and its vertical oscillation around the galactic plane may together influence the cyclical perturbation imprinted in the geological archives. In addition to galactic–geologic correlations, analysis of long-term periodic processes should also consider the mechanisms driven by Wilson megacycles, mantle cycles, and other geodynamic cycle hierarchies. Because measurements of these processes involve divergent branches of science, a comprehensive understanding of the causes of long-term periodicities in sedimentary basins will require multidisciplinary collaboration.

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